Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We are Here to Learn from Our Children!

Today I was getting a manicure and pedicure (I know ... poor me) at a local shop and I got to chatting with the woman next to me. She asked me what I do for a living and the conversation went from there.

At one point in the conversation I heard myself say "We are Here to Learn from the Children. Children aren't here to Learn from Us." Pretty strong statement and in some situations probably not true but depending on the circumstance yes it's 100% true!

Look at children six years and under, they teach us so much:

PRESENCE - Watch a child PLAY or Create see how present they are. Enjoying everything they do fully and completely and then when they're done with it ... they're done ... aren't they! Not like us - everything we do, our minds are either in the past or in the future, children are definitely more in the NOW.

RESILIENCE - Children are much more resilient than we are! See a child fall and cry but in moments notice or with the easiest distraction, they can usually shake it off. As adults, we tend to hang onto whatever it is for hours or days (and sometimes even years) - don't we - as we can always bring it up again and again in one story or another. Children will simply forget and move on.

PRIDE - See a child dance in public or sing in a crowd or wear a funny outfit to school and yet be so proud or perhaps even oblivious ~ happy ~ content! Wouldn't it be lovely just to dance as if know one was watching and with out any care or to paint a picture and be happy to post it on the fridge or give it to someone without all the excuses as to why 'it's not good enough'

OBSERVERS - Children are quick learners! They are sponges for new information! Because of this we have to be really cautious that when it comes to learning ~ what are we teaching them? Are we inspiring them to stay PRESENT? Are we acknowledging their RE SILENCE and giving them the strength and courage to grow? Are we PROUD of ourselves and of our accomplishments and not fearful or shameful of others reactions or of the final result?

Lastly ... are we OBSERVING our children and letting them be our INSPIRATION ~ Are we learning from them ~ they have so much to teach us!

One funny little clip to end off this post. After my pedicure I came home and opened up my facebook page to find the following post from my friend Cam Hayduk of turtlebox productions (the fab friend who helped create all the videos for my website http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/) His son Sam (whom I absolutely adore) had a playdate over ... here's how their clever conversation went:

"Sam, do you know how they took out people's brains to make them a mummy?" Sam: "Yeah, with a big hook through their noses, isn't that cool?" ... Isobel: "Yeah. My mom told Lucy that if she keeps picking her nose, she'll pull out her brains."

Gotta LOVE it! Children are da' best! They are truly a constant inspiration for me! We can learn and grow so much just from being with them ~ and what a special place to BE!!!


Monday, August 24, 2009

A Whole World of Child's PLAY!!!

Visit http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/ and get transported into a Whole World of Child's PLAY!!!!

In This Blog Post

1. About the Children's Community Website
2. What Your Child Will Experience when Visiting www.MusicwithMarnie.com
3. The Many benefits of www.MusicwithMarnie.com
4. How the Idea of www.MusicwithMarnie.com came About
5. The People Behind www.MusicwithMarnie.com

1. About the Children's Community Website
Come PLAY at Marnie's House ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! This safe, educational and entertaining website will be a haven of joy for your child to learn, explore and create in. Each video and each on-line activity in Marnie's House will feed the hearts, the minds and the social, emotional and developmental growth of your child!

The Fun begins at http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/ where children can watch Marnie TV in their own 'personally decorated room' and get transported into Marnie's World: A world of imagination, creation, exploration, education and even a little fun meditation.

2. What Your Child will Experience when Visiting Marnie's World
Right from the home page your child will be inspired to PLAY and have fun! As soon as the site opens "Marnie" (that's me ;) pops out of the front door of 'her house' and invites the children to come and play! Children can click on the window of Marnie's House where they will get transported into Marnie's World.

'So let me tell you that your website is part of our daily life, it amazes me how Maya opens my computer, finds the Marnie bookmark, opens it and navigates through your website ALL ON HER OWN, I love it.'
G. Benito, Mexico City

Here Children can watch Marnie TV which includes a wide and ever-changing collection of children's videos.

In creating the site in like everything I do ~ I thought what would children like. First off, children love the characters. From there I developed different skits for each character where the characters are doing things that children enjoy!

There's a great selection of videos called MARNIE TV:

Music with Marnie - For those who took a Music with Marnie Class - it's kind of like that, but with the help of some funky backgrounds and props and a few visits from Marnie's furried friends.

Move with Mumbu the Monkey - Just one look at Mumbu the Monkey and you want to get up and boogie. Different video clips will have your child dancing, doing yoga, exercising, jumping and more!

Learn with Milton - Milton the Mosquito makes learning fun. From Math to Recycling there's something for everyone!

Laugh with the Snicker Snakes - Kevin and Cass the Two Little Snicker Snakes are always there for a little fun and simple belly laughter

Sign and Dance with Tula - Your child will learn basic ASL (American Sign Language) while singing, signing and dancing with Marnie & Tula the Kangaroo

Rock with Marnie - If your child likes seeing the Music with Marnie Band LIVE - He or She will definitely enjoy these videos

Country with Jethro - Get ready for a Ho Down - it's time to giddy up and get singing with Marnie and Jethro

Meditate with Marnie - Simple & Fun Meditations for calming the body or for just feeling plain ol' good!

"Marnie, I'm just emailing you to say how much we are ALL enjoying the videos that we downloaded. Last night I did the meditation with Evan before he went to bed and afterwords he looked at me as if to say 'thanks Mommy, thanks Marnie, thanks Mumbu' ... Thank you Marnie."
S. Vanderkooi, Campbell River, BC

Children can also decorate their own room in Marnie's house. From wallpaper to windows and furniture. It's all there in Marnie's World.

''My daughter and I played around on your website today. She loved it (she is 4 and just getting into computers) The website is great for this age group. She especially liked where you can decorate your room. Of course she made it all pink.''
K. Dunn, North Vancouver, BC

''Marnie, WOW! You and Kevin have done an amazing job!! The site is wonderful, and must have been so much work. Kudos to you for seeing it through. The decorating page gets two
Emmy-sized ''thumbs up'' off the bat, for being able to create a polka-dot couch. LOL! It's just great. The vids are so cute.''
S.Bradford-Wilson, Saskatoon Sask.

Children can also choose from games to play as well! There are two fabulous games made to two popular music with Marnie Tunes. Both games are beneficial for fine motor and cognitive skills and more importantly are a lot of FUN!

3. The Many benefits of http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/
~ It's FREE!!! (Most sites like this have a membership fee or a lot of adds - this site is free from both!!!!)
~ It's SAFE
~ It's FUN
~ It's Marnie, the Band, the Characters & MORE
~ It's Unique
~ It's always changing (new videos are being added every six weeks .... 'old' videos and all videos are available for download on the shop page)

AND ... the
greatest thing is ... You can download ALL of the videos and ALL of Marnie's Songs and make a variety of mixed DVD's or CD's for your children and for their friends!

Looking for a birthday party theme or gift bag idea? Why not make the party a Mumbu theme and make a mixed DVD of the Mumbu videos for each child's grab bag!

4. How the Idea of http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/ came About
Well, I knew it was time for a change! In ten years of performing as a children's entertainer I have had many people approach me wanting to work on some fun project or another from TV shows to videos and video games to managing me and making music with me. Many offers have been great and enticing some have worked and others have not but all in all it's been an enriching experience.

Creating Marnie's world was a nice combination of many of my ambitions. It's like a mini TV show for kids, it's like an on-line Music with Marnie Class and it's like a collection of Marnie Videos. It's something that can consistently change and grow and never become stagnant!

My website was in need of a good over-haul so creating a site like this was the best option. Now it's a great site for children to enjoy, for parents to feel comfortable about their children using and it's also good for presenters, agents and managers as it gives them a great idea of what Music with Marnie is all about!

5. The People Behind http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/
Well ... there's a few great people that deserve recognition!

- all the videos were shot and edited by Cam Hayduk of Turtlebox Productions www.turtelboxproductions.com - Cam is awesome!!! Incredibly Creative and super FUN to work with!!!

- the artwork was done either by myself or by the Lovely Jennifer Norquist (who btw has made all of the costumes and puppets - Mumbu, Tula, Milton the Snicker Snakes and MORE) - She is such a talent and a great person!

- the web design was done by me and all by Andy Jenkins of www.freeflowcreative.com

- the idea of a community website was my husbands (and as many of you know my husband is an INTEGRAL part of Music with Marnie and just one awesome dude!!!!

- the music is always thanks to the Music with Marnie Band - especially Eduardo Ottoni (my drummer) as he and I write my music together plus everything is recorded and engineered by him in his studio. Eduardo has been a huge part of Music with Marnie from it's inception.

- by all the music with Marnie Fans who consistently inspire me to do what I do. I am FOREVER grateful to all the families you've all touched me so deeply over the years ... THANK YOU!

- through support and inspiration from my friends and family (my husband as mentioned) and my beautiful teacher Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

It's been a fun and incredible and ever-changing journey! Thanks for being a part of it.

The site changes every six weeks. Do add your name to this blog and also email me if you want to receive my newsletter .... that way you'll always be kept up to date on all Music with Marnie Events and happenings including any new children's videos or children's songs.

So come one and be a part of it. Usually sites like this cost money but this one is free for your child's learning and visual pleasure!

Visit the site today http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer FUN!

Well Hello! This is my FIRST Blog Post EVER!!! I'm sure as I do this I'll learn ... although I've been singing and performing for 10 years ... I'm still learning new things about this business ... that's what makes life so darned great! So here goes .. my first blog:

Well, I would have to say that this is the best Music with Marnie Summer I've had in a long while! Last year (2008) found me in India which was absolutely incredible but ... no shows were done in the Himalayan Mountains or along the Ganges. The year before, I was moving to California and two band members were out of town for most of the summer, so gigs weren't of highest priority BUT this summer ~ Wow! It's been Great!

I have not taught Music with Marnie Classes for over two years but decided to teach a few special classes this summer and I must say, there's something really special about the intimacy of a class compared to the energy of a show. I think I always have a knack for connecting with children, be it a crowd of 1000 kids or 10 kids, connecting with the little ones is no problem BUT in the classroom setting you most definitely get to know your group more! Each day for three days I had about 80 children, by the third day we all knew each other so well. Daily I would come home and tell my husband stories about all the children I met, it truly was a lovely experience!

I will be sure to scan and post some of the lovely artwork I received. (BTW ~ With this being my FIRST Blog EVER ... I'm hoping that I can scan and post pictures at a later date ... we shall see! )

It's been awhile since I've done solo shows as well! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE playing with the Music with Marnie Band as I think I'm blessed to have a handful of incredibly talented musicians who add such zest and talent to the Music with Marnie show. This summer was different, as it found me on stages such as the Golden Spike Days in Port Moody and Canada Day in Surrey singing without the fabulous backing of the Music with Marnie Band! Although the band was not there in person the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd was there and the joy and presence I feel during a performance was there with the same intensity that I have with the band - So that was good!

August 9th found us all in Penticton performing at Peachfest! What a treat it was to get out to the beautiful and breezy town of Penticton! It was great to spend time with the band we're like family and always have a lot of fun and laughs together. There were other great visitors as well ~ three wonderful families came from Vancouver to Penticton to see the show, it's always lovely to look into the crowd and see familiar faces that's for sure. After 10 years of performing I still have to pinch myself sometimes ~ I'm truly blessed to do what I do.

Asides from concerts and classes I must say I've been loving Vancouver! What a city! Not only are we surrounded with beauty but we are graced with an abundance of adventures from swimming, hiking and biking to parks and beaches! I love Vancouver!

Our next show will be in the lovely town of Mission, just 1 hour outside of Vancouver! Hope to see you there! SEPT 12TH at 11:30 a.m. - Get Your Info HERE